Now that we've wrapped up school and started our summer break, I'd like to take a minute to share what we used this past year, and how that worked out for us. Some of the links in this post will be affiliate links.
What we used this year:
Our base curriculum was My Father's World, year 3, Rome to the Reformation. This comprehensive "box" curriculum covered Bible, Literature, Vocabulary, History, Geography, Science, Music, and Art for both my 5th grader and my 8th grader, learning together. This was the spine to which I added Math, Language Arts, and enrichments.
From Rome to the Reformation:
I still love the idea of teaching history chronologically. I do think that MFW is heavy in some areas and light in others. For example, we got a lot of Egyptian history, but very little of any other part of Africa. Their coverage of Central and North American native cultures was the briefest of skims, which is disappointing, when there is so much fascinating information they could have covered.
I liked the book How The Bible Came to Us. It did a nice job explaining the origins of our current Bible. It's geared toward a younger age group than the Apologia books we enjoyed so much.
Science was biology one semester and astronomy the other. My boys enjoyed Apologia astronomy more a lot more than The Body Book.
We did a lot of supplementing in Art this year, which I loved. The books included in MFW-RTR are God and the History of Art. These are used more than one year in the My Father's World 5 year cycle. We liked the first year better than this one. I feel like the drawing assignments passed my boys' abilities and interests this year. We had several days where we read the history and skipped the project.
Things I added:
Eli started the year using CTC Math, but ended up switching to IXL.com instead. Jack used Lifepacs from Alpha Omega for his math.
For language arts, we did some journal writing and both boys used Spelling You See again this year. I'm delighted with SYS, and have already purchased this for all 3 of my students for next school year. Jack did a few Word Building paces after he finished his SYS book, to finish off the school year. We also used The Nose Tree, the Fix-It Grammar book we reviewed from IEW at the beginning of the year. I like this one a lot.
We reviewed another ARTistic Pursuits book, which we had lots of fun with, and also Home Art Studio, which I fell in love with because it's so easy to "teach," being a DVD. We'll be using another Home Art Studio DVD next year. One of the nice things about doing so much art this year is that there is only one item on the supply list that I need to buy. We already have all the rest!
Some of our fun "extra" projects this year have been making mosaics, stained glass windows, and sheilds.
In addition to the literature in MFW, Jack and I have really enjoyed the Gannon & Wyatt books. They're about homeschooled twin teen boys that travel the world and have adventures. We got the Ireland book as soon as it came out and read it aloud together.
We had a great year! As we cleaned out the boys' binders last week, it was fun to look back at all the things we'd learned. It would have been neat to have the Exploring Ephesus DVD during Week 11, when we studied Paul's Missionary Journeys, but even getting it late in the year, it was fascinating to see the places we'd read about. From Roman times to the Protestant Reformation is a lot of history. My favorite parts were castle times, and the how invention of the printing press came at the perfect time to fan the spark of discontent into the flame of the Reformation.
You may also be interested in what we'll be using next year.
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